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Gymnasts flip at Kukui Grove

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A member of the Kula Hui, or gold group, is upside down during her floor routine Sunday during the Kauai Gymnastics Academy showcase at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A member of the Hoku Hui, or star team, launches into a back flip Sunday during the Kauai Gymnastics Academy showcase at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Grinch tries to hex the Iki Hui team performance Sunday during the Kauai Gymnastics Academy showcase at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Members of the Iki Hui, or small group, go through a tandem opening number Sunday during the annual Kauai Gymnastics Academy showcase at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Kauai Gymnastics Academy, including its three levels of teams, coaches and The Grinch, oblige families and friends with a group photo opportunity before action on the mats Sunday at Kukui Grove Center.

LIHUE — The Puhi gym was packed up and brought to Kukui Grove Center Sunday when the Kauai Gymnastics Academy presented its annual showcase before a crowd that filled the newly renovated food court area at the mall.

“It’s been 14 years,” said Kay Leonard, co-owner of KGA. “We started with a small spring strip in a small space in Puhi. We’ve grown to a larger facility, more students and a full spring floor.”

The presentation included performances by about 30 of the KGA athletes, broken into three levels depending on the performers’ gymnastics skills in what Leonard described as a lifetime sport.

This year, Leonard added a storyline aspect with “The Grinch that Stole Gymnastics” tying together the performances from the three groups — the Iki Hui, or small group, the Hoku Hui, or star group, and the Kula Hui, or gold group.

“Jack’s been working real hard on developing this piece,” Kay said of her husband and KGA co-owner Jack Leonard. “He’s watched the movie over and over trying to work the gymnastics into the story.”

In the end, the audience, like the Grinch, was amazed by the antics and physical prowess of the young gymnasts as the performers flipped, tumbled and cartwheeled their way for an hour on a rain-damped afternoon.

Located in the Puhi Industrial Park, KGA is accepting registration for its winter session that starts Jan. 7.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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